cover image The Ignatian Guide to Forgiveness: Ten Steps to Healing

The Ignatian Guide to Forgiveness: Ten Steps to Healing

Marina Berzins McCoy. Loyola, $13.99 trade paper (144p) ISBN 978-0-8294-5007-1

McCoy (Wounded Heroes), a philosophy professor at Boston College, weaves together personal experiences and Ignatian theology in this robust take on forgiveness. Arguing that embracing forgiveness for “others and ourselves... is how we make our way deeper into the celebration of community and communion,” McCoy offers 10 steps—trust in grace, create new narratives, and “cultivate habits of mercy,” among others—to help readers embrace forgiveness. She grounds her reflections in the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius of Loyola and moves quickly to fit the work’s practices into her 10 steps. (Those unfamilair with the text may be at something of a loss.) For instance, she uses Ignatius’s “imaginative prayers” depicting Jesus’s life and dying moments as an exercise in compassion: “Jesus’ life of compassion and reconciliation shows us what it is like to live a life that is fully human.” To round out the lessons, she includes wisdom picked up in her own life, including the advice of a Jesuit spiritual adviser who told her to “pray with the image of being one of the sheep that Jesus ‘knows by name’” and how she learned to “extend mercy” while volunteering in a prison. While directed toward Catholics, this touching work will appeal to Christians of all stripes. (Dec.)